Understanding consumer decision-making in telecommunications can help us to determine what steps to take to facilitate better outcomes for consumers.

This is important for three primary reasons. First, there are many indicators that the market is not working for consumers and that they face challenges, detriment, and confusion as they decide what products to buy. Second, communications technologies have become essential utilities, playing a central role in society, and constituting a significant financial commitment. It is, therefore, crucial that consumers make decisions that work for them. Third, the policy backdrop to consumer protection in telecommunications is currently under scrutiny, and there is an opportunity to significantly improve outcomes for consumers.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), recently released the draft report to its Reconnecting the Customer Inquiry, which looked at ways to improve customer care in the market and provided a broad set of solutions. With this background in mind, this research sought to investigate:
• How are consumers navigating the market, specifically in relation to experiences with confusion, information overload, and determining value and risk?
• How can they fare better? Recognising the complexity of decision-making, the research comprises several components. Woven together the layers of data provide a deeper understanding of consumer decision-making.

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